The T20 World Cup final is a showdown between two formidable sides, and the powerplay will be a deciding factor
In a matchup that might determine who plays in the T20 World Cup final, Pakistan’s new-ball bowling attack takes with England’s scorching opening duo.
England’s opening pair of Alex Hales and Jos Buttler smashed records their route to a ten-wicket victory against India in Adelaide.
With the bat, Buttler and Hales have set the tone, and their 52 runs for the loss of one wicket in the Powerplay is the best in the tournament on average.
Their undefeated 170 (96 balls) is the biggest partnership for any wicket in the history of the Men’s competition, and it also sets a new record for opening partnerships.
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However, when they get the ball, they will face their toughest opponent yet: Pakistan.
Taking two wickets on average for only 37 runs in the first six overs of the tournament, the quick bowling quartet of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Mohamad Wasim, and the spin duo of Shadab Khan and Mohammed Nawaz, are the most effective bowling unit.
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When questioned about the importance of Pakistan‘s opening six overs with the ball, skipper Babar Azam didn’t try to play down the question’s gravity.
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“It will be crucial for the match’s outcome to make full use of the Powerplay in order to take as many wickets as possible.
“You should always want to establish a fast tempo for the next batsman, even while you’re at the crease. We want to keep up the good work and even pick up speed in the future.”
In their semi-final victory against New Zealand in Sydney, Shaheen’s early breakthrough to remove Finn Allen set the tone, and the Black Caps never recovered, especially after losing Devon Conway to a superb run out by Shadab Khan off the penultimate ball of the Powerplay.
In the aftermath of the game, Shaheen received praise from his captain for his 2/24 performance, which included the late-innings dismissal of Kane Williamson.
We know he’s out there bowling and doing good because he’s been leveraging our knowledge to become the finest bowler in Pakistan and the globe.
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Strong new ball bowling was the foundation of Pakistan’s tournament comeback. Pakistan’s greatest performance up to the semi-finals was perhaps in their victory against South Africa. Shaheen took out Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw for zero and seven runs, respectively, to end any hope of a comeback for the Proteas.
Meanwhile, England won a recent seven-match series in Pakistan 4-3 in preparation for the event, but without Shaheen and Buttler, the form book could as well be tossed away.
After Sunday’s game, Buttler and his team will have an opportunity to host both the Cricket World Cup and the T20 World Cup at the same time, and the captain reports excellent spirits.
“A lot of people, of course, are looking forward to the game.
“Playing in a World Cup final is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any athlete. The collective enthusiasm is high. The group seems to have a positive vibe.”